Last Updated: 4 February 2023

Dame Tartine (or Il était une Dame Tartine) is a traditional French song that evokes the wonderful world of the gourmet tale with its kitschy characters and tasty settings.

The song of sweets

Dame Tartine is a children's song that lists so many good things that little children with a sweet tooth will have their mouths watering. Provided they understand some of the outdated dessert words!

Mulot & Petitjean gingerbread store © French Moments

The palace of Dame Tartine: the Mulot & Petitjean gingerbread store in Dijon © French Moments

Dame Tartine

Lyrics, music, free download... let's learn more about the popular song:

Dame Tartine

The lyrics in French

The original song of Dame Tartine has 7 verses.

Couplet 1

Il était une dame Tartine
Dans un beau palais de beurre frais
La muraille était de praline,
Le parquet était de croquets,
La chambre à coucher
De crème de lait,
Le lit de biscuits,
Les rideaux d'anis.


Couplet 2

Quand elle s'en allait à la ville
Elle avait un petit bonnet
Les rubans étaient de pastilles
Et le fond de bon raisiné;
Sa petite carriole
Était de croquignoles,
Ses petits chevaux
Étaient de pâtés chauds.


Couplet 3

Elle épousa monsieur Gimblette
Coiffé d'un beau fromage blanc
Son chapeau était de galette
Son habit était de vol-au-vent
Culotte en nougat
Gilet de chocolat,
Bas de caramel
Et souliers de miel.


Couplet 4

Leur fille, la belle Charlotte
Avait un nez de massepain,
De très belles dents de compote,
Des oreilles de craquelin
Je la vois garnir
Sa robe de plaisirs
Avec un rouleau
De pâte d'abricots.


Couplet 5

Le puissant prince Limonade
Bien frisé, vient lui faire sa cour
Ses longs cheveux de marmelade
Ornés de pomme cuites au four
Son royal bandeau
De petits gâteaux
Et de raisins secs
Portait au respect.


Couplet 6

On frémit en voyant sa garde
De câpres et de cornichons
Armés de fusils de moutarde
Et de sabres en pelures d'oignons
Sur de bell's brioches
Charlotte vient s'asseoir,
Les bonbons de ses poches
Sortent jusqu'au soir.


Couplet 7

Voici que la fée Carabosse
Jalouse et de mauvaise humeur
Renversa d'un coup de sa bosse
Le palais sucré du bonheur
Pour le rebâtir
Donnez à loisir,
Donnez, bons parents
Du sucre aux enfants !

Translation of the lyrics into English

Here is an approximative translation into English:

Verse 1

Once upon a time there was a lady Tartine
In a beautiful palace of fresh butter
The wall was of praline,
The floor was of croquet,
The bedroom was
Of cream of milk,
The bed of biscuits,
The curtains of anise.


Verse 2

When she went to the city
She had a little bonnet
The ribbons were of pastilles
And the bottom of it was made of good grapes;
Her little cart
Was of croquignoles,
Her little horses
Were of hot pies.


Verse 3

She married Mr. Gimblette
With a nice white cheese on his head
His hat was of wafer
His suit was of vol-au-vent
His breeches were made of nougat
Waistcoat of chocolate,
Stockings of caramel
And shoes of honey.


Verse 4

Their daughter, the beautiful Charlotte
Had a nose like marzipan,
Beautiful teeth of applesauce,
Ears of cracker
I see her garnishing
Her dress of pleasures
With a roll
Of apricot paste.


Verse 5

The mighty Prince Lemonade
Comes to court her with his curls
His long hair of marmalade
Adorned with baked apples
His royal headband
Of little cakes
And raisins
Brought respect.


Verse 6

One shudders to see his guard
Of capers and pickles
Armed with guns of mustard
And sabres made of onion skins
On bell's buns
Charlotte comes and sits,
The sweets from her pockets
Come out to the evening.


Verse 7

Here comes the fairy Carabosse
Jealous and in a bad mood
Knocked over with one blow of her hump
The sweet palace of happiness
To rebuild it
Give at will,
Give, good parents
Sugar to the children!

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Dame Tartine © French Moments

French Nursery Rhymes

My challenge for the year 2023 is to publish 80 French Nursery Rhymes lyrics and descriptions (list below). Come back as time goes by to discover the new articles:

About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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